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That words do not come too late

Spent the day writing a sermon. Tomorrow I preach at St. James Presbyterian Church. I am looking forward to that.

The day also brought a cleaning surge here at the Shire on the Hudson. Things had been getting pretty grungy. Now they are just kind of grungy. One step at a time. The laundry did get done. That’s always a good thing.

A number of movies have been viewed over the past few days. Some oldies that I have seen before – Batman: The Dark Knight (Heath Ledger is amazing – and then there are Christian Bale and Morgan Freeman and Michael Caine and Gary Oldman and the list goes on); The Bourne Identity, and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.

The most interesting new one was Get Low with Robert Duvall. He turns in a strong performance and the cast supports him well.

The story, supposedly based on truth, is fascinating. Duvall’s character, Felix Bush lives as a hermit. And he decides he wants to hold his funeral – before he dies – while he is able to attend.

I found myself recalling one of my favorite scenes from Waking Ned Devine. Jackie O’Shea is speaking at the funeral for Ned Devine – and when the lottery man arrives, Jackie quickly changes the focus because the town has told him that Ned is still alive. Michael O’Sullivan is masquerading as Ned so they can cash in Ned’s winning lottery ticket.

Jackie pauses for a moment and then says, “Michael O’Sullivan was my great friend. But I don’t ever remember telling him that. The words that are spoken at a funeral are spoken too late for the man who is dead. What a wonderful thing it would be to visit your own funeral.”

In Get Low, Felix Bush decides he wants to do just that (as he did in real life, apparently). Of course there are some twists and turns to get there. But get there they do. And the truth is told – painful, heartbreaking, hard truth – truth from the past – truth that has shaped, distorted, truncated Felix’s life and the lives of many others. And it seems that forgiveness and some measure of reconciliation occurs.

Felix’s tale in Get Low took my thinking in two directions. 

Direction One.
I don’t want to attend my own memorial service. At least that’s what I think at the moment. I also don’t want that memorial service to happen any time soon. And I realize that memorial services are for the living not for the one who has died. But I do have an idea what I would like to see happen at that service – years and years from now.

That idea comes from Waking Ned Devine. The memorial service should be a time of celebration and giving thanks. And after the service, all of my family and all of my friends should gather for a party – a mighty party – a party with music and food and drink – a party with stories told and memories shared – a party filled with tears and laughter – a party that lasts through the night. Then, in the morning, the still quiet darkness of the morning, all who are able should fill their glass and make their way to the highest point that is nearby and their they should toast me as the sun rises.

Direction Two.
I need to be sure that my family and friends know what they mean to me. I need to make sure that my words do not come too late. May it be so.

See you along the Trail.

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Yes. I figured it out – at least who did it – but not the reason for their greed.

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A failed, unimportant, quest

Slept in again. That is getting to be a habit. I am getting to like that habit. Of course I stay awake until two or three in the morning. This will all have to change.

Upon rising, I did some email follow-up related to EAPPI, Red Hands, and transferring my membership to the Presbytery of New York.

The animals of the day were deer. Three doe showed up in our back yard (although Tricia was awake early enough to see turkeys again. The doe stayed there a long time, settling in for what appeared to be a nice rest.

Watched a variety of football – no one game in its entirety but saw bits and pieces of Army beating SMU, North Carolina beating Tennessee, and Syracuse beating Kansas State. Now watching Washington and Nebraska. They had played once before this season. Tonight is a different story, at least so far.

Went to see Voyage of the Dawn Treader. It seemed good enough but those who know the book did not like it. I can see their point – the movie not only changed things, it watered things down quite a bit. Not sure if we will go see other movies made from the Chronicles of Narnia.

After the movie went to dinner at Tommy’s – always a treat.

Scrabble again closed the evening with Tricia winning one and Eric winning one and me losing both.

The day also saw a failed quest. Of course it was a completely unimportant, inconsequential quest. I have had a yen for the last several weeks for Wedding Cake cookies by Archway. True, they are not great cookies – crunch shortbread, some nuts, a ton of powdered sugar. But I have always liked them – and I have not been able to find them this year – at least not in Louisville. I went to three different grocery stores in Cleveland Heights and South Euclid and came away empty. Oh well. Some day. Some where. I will find them again.

See you along the trail.

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Goals met, foot protected

Whenever I try to get back in the exercise groove, I have a tendency to overdo things – to go too hard too quickly. Where this usually plays out is in a blister on my foot. This time is no exception.

So today, instead of doing nothing and instead of going all out, I took it easy and spaced my walking. I made it to the gym, but went 20 minutes on the treadmill instead of 40. I needed some groceries so I walked around the store for about 20 minutes. I found a couple of other times to walk just a little bit longer.

I suppose I did not make the letter of the goal for focused exercise. But I believe I achieved the spirit. I did eat well. And I did make 10,392 steps. I am calling that all three goals met. Four days.

Neither the Cavaliers nor the Pens played today. I did a Netflix video about Bonhoeffer.

At the gym, I watched the Phoenix Los Suns game against San Antonio. It’s a pretty good gesture. And now I am hooked. I am watching the end of their game and they will be my second team.

See you along the Trail.

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When laughing

Easter Sunday
April 4, 2010

There are many reasons to cry.
When laughing we have hope.
When laughing we are alive.


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